Northern Colorado fires football coach Earnest Collins Jr.

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Northern Colorado head football coach has been fired after posting a 28-72 record in nine seasons.

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GREELEY, Colo. — Northern Colorado football coach Earnest Collins Jr. has been fired after nine seasons.

Athletic director Darren Dunn announced Sunday that Collins would not return as the head coach. His teams posted a 28-72 record, including a 2-10 mark this fall.

“This is never an easy decision to make,” Dunn said. “We would like to thank Earnest for his dedication to the student-athletes, the Athletics Department and the University of Northern Colorado over the past nine years.”

Collins had been given a five-year contract extension in 2016 and led the team to its first two winning seasons as an FCS program in 2015 and 2016.

During Collins’ time as coach, the team’s academic progress rate improved and the team graduation rate increased from 66% to 82%, the best in the Big Sky Conference during his tenure. He also coached four All-American selections and 64 All-Big Sky Players. Collins had six players go on to spend time with NFL teams and two more with the CFL.

Dunn said it was not an easy decision to make and thanked Collins for his dedication to the student-athletes.

The school has retained a consulting firm to assist with the national search for a new head coach.

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